Ohio Statehouse to Celebrate National Planting Day Sept. 23

OHIO FLAGCOLUMBUS – The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) in partnership with Keep Ohio Beautiful will celebrate the power of pollinators to support nature and our food supply as part of the fourth annual National Planting Day Wed., Sept. 23, 2015. A variety of activities are planned at the Ohio Statehouse, including planting an Ohio Native Pollinator Garden, designed by scientists at The Davey Tree Expert Co. In addition to attracting a variety of pollinators, this garden will provide nectar sources for the beehive installed earlier this year on the Statehouse grounds.

National Planting Day celebrates the value and power of native species in restoring ecological balance to the environment while creating greener, more beautiful communities. To commemorate this day, Keep Ohio Beautiful will host a public educational event at the North Plaza of the Ohio Statehouse, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will be kicked off by an interactive pollinator educational program with students from Annehurst Elementary presented by senior entomologists from Scotts Miracle-Gro. Following the presentation, Senator Gayle Manning and Representative Ryan Smith will read to the first and second grade students. A program with remarks from representatives of the participating organizations is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m.

“This is another example of great companies and organizations coming together here at the Ohio Statehouse to help educate the people of Ohio on the importance of a healthy ecosystem and the pollinators that make that ecosystem bloom,” said William Carleton, executive director, CSRAB.

Michael Mennett,executive director, Keep Ohio Beautiful will be joined by Keep Ohio Beautiful state affiliates; Ohio legislators; Senator Gayle Manning; Representative Ryan Smith; William Carleton, executive director, Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board; Su Lok, director of corporate and community partnerships, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company; Karen Wise, vice-president, Keep Ohio Beautiful; Terry Lieberman Smith, vice president, Ohio State Beekeepers Association; Ken Christensen, senior scientist, Davey Resource Group, a division of The Davey Tree Expert Co.; and Nina Bagley, Nina’s Village Apiary.

The species included in the native pollinator garden were carefully selected by scientists at Davey with assistance from Tamra Ansel, grounds manager with the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board. The design plan and herbaceous plants were donated by Davey, while shrubs and trees were purchased using a grant from Subaru of Ohio. A special cell phone tour has been established, too— Capitol Square visitors who dial (614)/466-4304 from a mobile device will be able to learn about this wonderful native pollinator garden.

High school students from the Knox County Career Center Landscape Design and Management Program, and organizations from throughout the state will be on hand to educate attendees about native plants, pollinators and related subjects. In the case of inclement weather, the location will be moved to the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. The event is free and open to the public.

About Pollinators
– In the U.S., pollination by honey bees, native bees and other insects produces $40 billion worth of products annually.
– Pollinators are responsible for one of every three bites of food we take.
– Many pollinators are listed on the federal endangered species list due to evidence of their disappearance in natural areas.
– Homeowners can support pollinators by growing attractive, easy-care native plants such as white fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus), sourwood tree (Oxydendrum arboreum), sweet pepper shrub (Clethra alnifolia), maple leaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium), butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), and blazing star (Liatris spicata).

About National Planting Day
National Planting Day is a Keep America Beautiful program now in its fourth year. The program encourages Americans to hold events supporting local ecosystems by planting native trees, shrubs and plants throughout the fall. For more information on National Planting Day or Keep Ohio Beautiful, contact Michael Mennett at (330)/338-8328 or mmennett@keepohiobeautiful.org.

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